BBC Worldwide chief Rupert Gavin quits

MUMBAI: BBC Worldwide chief executive Rupert Gavin has resigned. Gavin's resignation follows the corporation's announcement of a wide-ranging review of its entire commercial operation.

Gavin who joined BBC Worldwide in 1998 has been regarded as the driving force behind the success of the Worldwide enterprise. Gavin will assist the BBC on finding a replacement and handover issues until he leaves in October.

Gavin said in his statement, "This is the seventh record year in succession that we have achieved since I joined BBC Worldwide back in 1998. Since that date, we have generated a total of ?704 million for the BBC and are well on our way to achieving the long term targets that the government set us.

"In addition the company achieved a record 109 industry and consumer awards in 2003/04, including Exporter of the Year at the prestigious International Business Awards, emphasising the quality and excellence of our work.

"From this position of strength, I have decided now is the right time to stand down as CEO of BBC Worldwide."

Gavin mentioned the company's review plan saying, "As you know, a review of commercial businesses, including BBC Worldwide, is currently underway, led by the BBC's Chief Operating Officer John Smith. This is due to report by the end of 2004. I will assist the BBC on handover issues until I leave in October," he said.

BBC director-general Mark Thompson said: "Rupert has taken Worldwide to record levels of success and the company is now a market leader in key areas both in the UK and globally.

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